No posts for a while, but plenty going on… in my head, at least:
A couple of months ago, I finished a Trimix course (TRIMIX COURSE - PART 1). I learned more over that couple of days than I had for years. It was bloody hard work and by the end, I felt like I really earned my certificate. But I gained more than just another qualification because somewhere along the way, I rediscovered my passion for diving.
For the last few years, the majority of my diving was in shallow water. I mostly shore dived to take photos of the pretty fish and reefs. I did deeper dives, but for a few reasons, I didn’t really push myself. The result: I was getting stale.
The good news: my diving enthusiasm is more than rekindled – it’s blazing. The conundrum: what to do next?
I suppose this is a dilemma faced by most divers at some stage. My diving budget and available time is limited, and I want to maximise my enjoyment. I figure I can get more bang for my buck if I pick a goal (or goals) and work towards it/them. The question is, where do I start?
I have a fair idea of what I want to do, but I want to make sure I mean it. So I’m analysing where I’m going and hoping I can produce a plan.
Pick up a mainstream diving magazine and flick through. Somewhere, there will be a story about diving a tropical reef. There will be bright colour photos of fish and coral. I’ve only done a handful of tropical dives and none on Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef. It’s almost un-Australian to be an Aussie diver and not dive the Reef. The thing is, all my sources tell me the best diving is on the outer reefs, well north of Cairns, and the only way to get there is a liveaboard. The same sources are also recommending a trip on Spoilsport, with Mike Ball Dive Expeditions. It seems my only decision is whether to do a three- or four-day trip, or go the whole hog and stay the entire week.
I drive ships in my day job, so wrecks fascinate me (is that a bit weird?). My wreck diving experience is limited, but I would love to do more. I want to visit the ship’s graveyard in Bass Strait. Until the later part of the 20 century, surplus ships were often scuttled outside the entrance to Melbourne’s Port Phillip Bay. Many of these were not found again for decades. There’s a lot of history just lying there, waiting for me to take a look. I want to visit the wreck of the Tasman. She sank off the south east of Tasmania and is at around 72 metres depth. There’s not a lot left, so I have to question my motivation. Is it the historical significance, or that it’s a pinnacle dive, basically the deepest wreck dived in Tasmania? I don’t know and it’s a long way off, so I have to consider.
I am uncomfortable in caves, wet or dry. I have a huge respect for cave divers, and spelunkers are just plain mad! I dislike the sense of masses of rock over my head. It just doesn’t feel right. I have no problem with confined spaces, provided there’s not thousands of tonnes above my head. I think cave diving is well off the agenda.
I enjoy the challenge of technical diving and gain satisfaction from planning and executing deco dives. And I feel naked if I dive without a camera. I would love to photograph deep wrecks. This all leans towards Advanced Trimix and Advanced Wreck courses. My question is whether to do more diving, first. Or jump in, do the courses and then build the experience with the training under my belt. Hmmm—
Right, that’s my thoughts. Let the discussion begin…